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New Brisbane COVID case is LINKED to previous cluster with ‘highly contagious’ UK variant

Genomic testing has confirmed that Queensland’s latest locally-acquired COVID-19 case is linked to a previous cluster announced on March 12.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said it was likely there was one unidentified intermediary who had passed the virus on to the case announced Friday.

A man in his 20s is in Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital after testing positive late on Thursday night, prompting an investigation into the source of infection.

He is confirmed to have the highly contagious UK variant of the virus, referred to as the B117 variant.

Princess Alexandra Hospital cluster

The March 12 cluster involved two overseas travellers and a doctor at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The doctor tested positive on March 11, after working at Princess Alexandra Hospital and visiting four venues in the city’s south the day before.

She was infected by a patient who also infected a person staying in a separate room at Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor quarantine facility.

Young said Queensland Health would know more about whether the current case of community infection had spread within the next 24 hours.

“In the meantime, those identified as visiting the locations in today’s Public Health Alert should immediately get tested and isolate until you receive your results,” she said.

“Additionally, anyone identified as a close contact will be contacted by the Public Health Unit and required to quarantine.”

The March 12 cluster involved two overseas travellers and a doctor at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Credit: Albert Perez/AAP
The Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane (file image)
Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor was the site of a COVID cluster earlier this year. Credit: AAP

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